Looked out window at 4:55 and it was dry.
Walked out the door at 5:06 and it was raining.
Arrived at Wharf Rat at 5:12 p.m. soaking wet in my Ravens Super Bowl XXXV raincoat.
There were 14 people in the bar when I arrived and two of them were wearing the blue “B” Boston Red Sox hats. They were in separate groups. There was one guy at the bar wearing a black Orioles cap with the constipated current bird. I was rocking my old-school “cartoon bird” visor.
A couple was wrapping up a meal and going to the ballgame. They were UMBC students who were quite proud of Jay Greene and running into him in class on campus. Nice young couple, clearly sports fans.
At approximately 5:26 p.m., Drew Forrester walked in. He would be the only other one to identify himself as someone interested in going to the game.
Drew and I engaged in a short banter with Todd the bartender at the Wharf Rat. Nice guy, served cold beer (I had a frosty Mic Ultra…even though I really dig the new Miller Wheat beer…they didn’t have any of the Handcrafted Collection there…out of respect to all of the cool sponsors who help us feed our family, I really try to mix it up…Even though I’m old, I still like a cold beer!).
Apparently, Amber Theoharris is on no one’s holiday greeting card list at the Wharf Rat. Something about a sign, out of town fans, an article, bad information, etc. Either way, they’re not pleased with her. I told them that we have no beef with Amber, just her boss.
By 5:45 p.m., Drew and I were having fun and appalled (but not surprised) about the fact that there were 17 people in the bar and requested that Todd do a “formal survey” about tonight’s crowd, and their intentions for the evening. We actually couldn’t visually see anyone who looked like a “typical baseball fan.”
We had a table of four who were discussing the figure skating at the First Mariner Arena.
But that was it!
The entire rest of the room went from indifference to literally bursting into laughter when we asked if they were going to the Orioles game. One said, “Who are they?”
So, imagine the astonishment and our sense of humors going wild when we realized that we’re the ONLY idiots in the entire BAR and maybe the entire CITY who have driven downtown, gone to a bar and were ready to rough the elements and sit in the rain and watch the Orioles in a completely empty stadium.
And I was even willing to PAY to do it!
And we’re the ones who get the grief for “HATING” the Orioles?
Trust me, for whatever disdain I have for the franchise and what it’s done to the community and the downtown business area, it must be multiplied by tens of thousands of people here. (I’m just the only one who speaks my mind!)
I was at the game last night. Where were you?
It just struck us as quite humorous that we’re the ONLY fools who are actually TRYING to get people to come back to games and have fun. And leave downtown a better place while we do it. And put our collective fingers into the massive holes of this self-inflicted Titanic.
When the game was called around 5:50, someone in the bar said this: “Maybe this is the one time them getting a rainout will actually HELP us because the makeup date can’t be worse than this!”
I’m actually a little bummed because I was looking forward to going to the game tonight. The weather stunk, and it would’ve been cold either way, but I was bundled up and ready to have fun. I had a bit of a “purple attitude” about it, like a Ravens game. I even said to my wife when I left, “Hey, if it were a Ravens game, I’d be there…”
No one showed up.
No one except for Drew.
If you don’t think that’s FUNNY, you haven’t really thought much about it.
I’ll hope for better weather and a better turnout for our next endeavor. But I’m not holding my breath.
At least I hope they play the game next time.
Instead, I’m home watching the Nashville Predators try to make the NHL playoffs (they’re up 3-2 late) and watching the Yankees battle the Blue Jays at “The Stadium.”
I’m $8 richer. I’m dry. I didn’t get pneumonia and I’m getting some free hockey. And there will be 80 more chances to see the Orioles at home.
I still love sports when it brings out my passion as a fan!
And I love when sports provides me with a good story to tell.
Tonight, Drew and I added a classic tale to the collection.
I can hear Drew telling this story at a cocktail party five years from now…
“Do you remember that time you tried to get people to come downtown in early April on a rainy night to see the Orioles play the Rays for last place? And we were the ONLY guys who showed up? And it pissed rain all night…ha, ha, ha…and most of the people in the bar were going to the ice skating thing…and the game got called…”